Friday, March 24, 2017

Into the New Year

Grandma and Grandpa took us all to Whidbey Island to stay in a 100 year Colonel's house for our after Christmas trip. It was cold, cold, cold! We tried to go do some adventurous things, like see the bunkers, sling shot on the beach, practice archery, but none of our attempts lasted long. We froze!
We mainly spent our time inside the old house at the very long dining room table puzzling, playing games or watching shows.

The beginning of January we did lots of indoor rock climbing, following our normal homeschool schedule, Tuffy wanting to go potty on the potty chair (although I'm not potty training him) and Eben threw a Jello party for his siblings.
It's been very cold! So we tried freezing bubbles one not rainy day. It was very fun to watch them freeze and when you pop them they slowly melt.

We've also been going to the Children's Museum in Olympia a lot since Grandma and Grandpa got us a membership for Christmas. There is always so much to do there.
Jan. 13th we hosted Jessica's Women's Clothes Swap. Kivi was able to come too and she found some cute stuff!
Jan 15th the girls kayaked in the frozen lake and the boys hot tubbed while watching shows in our portable hot tub that we put back into our room.
Jan. 19th
Dada took Eben skiing with some friends and they had a fantastic time especially since it was suppose to rain but ended up being clear, not that many people were on the mountain.
Jan. 23rd We went to the capitol building for the March for Life rally. It was a different experience, but we really loved standing with so many people who also love babies and the gift of life, praying for our country, a change of heart for our leaders and our nation and for all who have ever had an abortion for healing and forgiveness. What was interesting was the "other" side yelling, chanting, screaming - hating. If they had heard the words of our speakers they would have heard peace, love, forgiveness, praying, singing and hope.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Demolition Day!

The day after Christmas we got busy with the hammers, axes, shop vac and all our combined brute strength to get rid of the wall between the living room and kitchen! Well, maybe it was more Dada and Poppie strength, but everyone participated! Mimi and Nonnie moved everything around in the kitchen so it would all fit without the cabinets we were knocking down.
And after removing the fridge and stove the cabinets started to come down. Then the kids got to get involved and were excited to help bust holes in the wall. 
Everyone got a chance to hammer a hole into the wall. 
The day after Christmas is also eat your gingerbread house day, so we took some breaks to do that too. Hey, it fit the Demolition Day theme!!
Eben and Kivi were super helpful at keeping the debris out of the way and hauling the tons of wood that was used in building this massive wall to the fire pit. All the kids helped, but that "strong chugginess" can only lift so much. Recharge the Chuggy with kisses!
Mama kept the fire going. Dada was "On FAHR!"Look at that hunk of a man, ripping down walls with his bare (sometimes gloved) hands!
The finished (well, not completely, but for this day - it's done.) project!! We can walk right through!!

Monday, March 13, 2017

A "Rockin'" Christmas!

This year we were spoiled! We had all the grandparents and a big surprise from Dada. We started off the morning singing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus and blowing out the candles on His cake, which Grandma brought.
 We read Luke Chapter 2 - almost from memory now and cuddled with Grandma, Grandpa, Nonnie, Poppie and Mimi - Wow, what special kids!

Dada made stockings for everyone!
Then we thanked God for the amazing gift of His Son and had some breakfast.
We took Coaly's First Christmas picture in the giant baby stocking. The stocking that I first made for Eben's First Christmas and in which all the babies have had their pictures taken. But none of them actually hung in it like Coal.
We took turns and casually opened presents. It was very mellow and relaxing and peaceful. Tuff being sick might have helped in that area. Dada had taken the boys and girls separately this year to buy presents for each other and they love to watch their siblings unwrap the gift they chose.
Then Dada told the kids that instead of a scavenger hunt this year, they would be doing a puzzle and all the kids had to work together on it the whole time. Little did they know that while they were putting it together, just down the very long hallway, Dada would be putting up a rock wall! He had been building it in the garage and had it all pre-assembled, ready to be screwed in place. So he had it finished before they were done with the puzzle!
Once they completed the puzzle they had to flip it over and follow the clue...
down to the shed, where they found a box...
with ropes and harnesses. They were confused. Then Dada said, "Follow me!" and he led them down the hallway and revealed his big surprise! They were so excited!
The rest of the day we spent, rock climbing (of course), playing with new toys, snacking on finger foods and sparkling cider, watching Christmas movies and cuddling. It was a very good way to celebrate Christ "Our Rock".

Christmas Eve 2016!

This Christmas Eve, Peter had a great idea! We woke all the kids up early and headed to the Seattle Sheridan to see their display of amazing gingerbread houses. I can't believe he's never told me about this before. It was so great! The sculptures were beautiful, and to make it even better - the six "houses" (if you could call them that, they were actually pieces of edible art) were all Harry Potter themed this year! A sculpture for each book. So it kind of felt like they were created just for us, that, and the fact that we got there so early in the morning we were just about the only ones there to see them. Mama and the girls wore our last year jammie pants, knowing that tonight we would open our new ones.  Then Dodie and Uncle Cheese and Kookie and Buggy met us there.
After walking around the display a couple of times, (each time seeing something totally new because there was so much detail in each piece) we walked down to Pike Place Market for some yummy donuts and then Shmee took me to the Crumpet Shop and I had my first ever crumpet. Both were pretty wonderful! It was a sweet morning.

Our daily morning advent traditions for the month of December only changed a little this year, we just had to add two more advent activities because Tuffy was ready to join the fun and I took out the "wait" day. So now the activities are light the advent wreath, have a cup of tea that morning at devotions, put the character on the nativity, serving jar, pick a prize out of the big stocking, light the tree and pick 3 candies out of a sock and share with 2 siblings. Of course the candy ones are always their favorites.
Christmas evening we went to church for candlelight service and had to sit in the foyer because it was so crowded, so it wasn't very dark for the candlelight part - the overhead lights were on most of the time. Then we came home and opened the traditional white boxes...
Surprise! Matching Christmas jammies! Mama made them out of sheets from Mimi.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Remember December 2016!

Dec. 3rd - We hunted for our Christmas tree at the Family Farm with Buggy, Kookie, Dodie and Steve. Then I hosted a table with Cara for our church's Women's Tea.

Dec. 4th - We decorated the tree and tried out a new living nativity in Gig Harbor.
Dec. 9th - It snowed!! Jasper built a cute little snowman and we headed off to the Pacific Science Center to get the most out of our last month of our membership. We went more times in Dec. than any other month. This time we went with the Myhrbergs and another time Uncle Kookie met us there.

Dec. 10th - Every Saturday the big six have ballet. We started going because they had a free boys class in the summer and they loved it. Now the girls want in on the ballet action, but we have to pay for them, oh well, they love it!

Dec. 13th - Two cuddly babies after nap. 
Kangaroo Eben and Joey Tuff

Dec. 14th - Jasper helped Dada at the police station unload tons of donated food for people in need.

Dec. 15-16th - Kivi and Jasper film their Christmas movies,
Nonnie and Poppie come with basket of presents,
and more filming of Christmas movies.

Dec. 17th - We dressed up for Dada's Amazing Star Wars Rogue One Viewing Party!
Dada was Darth, Mama was an Ewok, Eben was , Kivi was Luke, Jasper was Han Solo, Opal was Aunt Beru and Berg was Obi Wan.

Our good sported friends dressed up too!

It's the only day you can have a light saber fight in the movie theater while listening to Uncle Jefé play the accordion .

Dec. 18th - Tuff and Pella sang the "Away in a Manger" song with the sheep hats on in church. Pella was the only one to do motions. That night we hosted one of the middle school Great Snowman Hunt stops where the kids had to knock down water bottles with ice from a sling shot.

Dec. 20th - We hosted this years Gingerbread Party! We made our Gingerbread Bethlehem again and Pella had the stable this time and Eben created a new building with a ramp to the roof.

Dec. 21st - Mimi came to visit for Christmas! Peter and I put on the Family Christmas Pageant at our church. We love this simple retelling of Christ's birth straight from Luke 2. All the kids dress up and all the parents and grandparents sing along as Peter plays guitar and I tell the kids when to say their lines and go on stage.
Eben and Kivi were shepherds, Jasper was the star, Opal and Berg were wisemen, Pella was a cow and Tuff and Coal were sheep.

Dec. 22nd - We had our own family Candlelight Christmas Worship time.

Whenever Dada gets out his guitar, Tuffy has to play (and dance) along.

Dec. 23rd - Dada made us Christmas tree pancakes! And later we decorated our gingerbread selves so we could make a Johnson Gingerbread Family. (I like Eben's licorice representation of his long red hair.)